Person with confirmed case of measles flew in, out of Alberta
Published Sunday, February 24, 2019 12:22PM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 25, 2019 10:15AM MST
Alberta Health Services is warning the Edmonton area that a person with a lab-confirmed case of measles visited Leduc while infectious.
The person flew from Vancouver to Edmonton on Feb. 12 on Air Canada flight AC236, which arrived at the Edmonton International Airport at 12:54 p.m.
There were several locations of potential exposure in Leduc on that day, including the airport shuttle (when it visited the Paradise Inn and Suites, Crystal Star Inn, Wyndham Garden Edmonton Airport, and Wingate by Wyndham) between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., the Walmart Supercentre on Discovery Way between 5 and 7 p.m., and Stars Inn Hotel overnight.
The shuttle was again exposed on Feb. 13 during a pick up at Crystal Star Inn.
The person flew to Inuvik, N.W.T, on Canadian North Flight #5T-444 at 7:45 a.m. on Feb. 13.
An update from the N.W.T. Office of the Chief Public Health Officer said the person went to emergency in Inuvik three days later, on Feb. 16.
"The boarding areas for those airlines and on the 13th in the morning, the security check in line, might be higher risk," explained Dr. Gloria Keays, an AHS medical officer of health, at a conference in Edmonton Sunday.
AHS said that “individuals who were in the above-noted locations at the time frames indicated and who were born after 1970, and have not already had measles disease or have not received two doses of measles vaccine, may be at risk for developing measles."
It also said post-exposure immunization is ineffective due to the timeframe of potential exposure. AHS recommended individuals monitor their symptoms for three weeks after Feb. 12 or 13, or until March 5.
A communications specialist for Vancouver Airport Authority said it knows of a second passenger who contracted measles. The person arrived in Vancouver on Feb. 11 on Philippine Airlines flight PR 116 from Manilla.
The airport said it was taking direction from Vancouver Coastal Health.
Measles is considered extremely contagious.
Those who see symptoms develop are asked to stay at home and call Health Link at 811 before visiting a health care facility.
Symptoms of measles may include a fever of 38.3 C or higher; a cough, runny nose or red eyes; and a red blotchy rash that appears between three and seven days after the fever starts, originating behind the ears and on the face then spreading down the body.
There is no treatment, but it can be prevented through immunization. In Alberta, a vaccine is offered freely. About 20 per cent of the province has opted out.
As a result, Keays said measles "will continue to pop back in populations even where immunization rates are fairly high. So it's frustrating."
"At any time measles is potentially one plane ride away."
Those who don’t know their own or their child’s immunization history can call their local public health office or Health Link for more information.
More information can be found online.